Rather than a real song this week, I instead point you to an internet classic, inspired by those Wilford Brimley commercials you see during The Price is Right. Yes, I watch The Price is Right when I can, and hence I know all about important products like Fibercon, the Scooter Store, Depends, and, of course, Liberty Medical. This video is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen, and no, I never really noticed how oddly this man pronounces the word diabetes. There is a reason why some now call it “the beetis” in honor of him.
Let me give you a personal example, and hopefully, it will give you a useful lesson to learn. (The drugs and dollar values have been changed to protect certain people.) I have insomnia. I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep at night, and after a lot of behavioral and diet changes, my doctor suggested trying a variety of drugs to see if any of them helped. Let’s take the generic treatment: Trazodone, which is also often used as a mild antidepressant.
Trazodone has variable doses, between 0.5 and 3 pills a day.
Here’s the weird thing about many insurance companies: you don’t pay per pill, you pay per month. That’s right, the amount of pills you take are not the determining factor in the cost to you of your medicine. If I told my doctor I was taking half-a-pill a day, and he prescribed me a 1-month supply, I pay $10 for 15 pills. For a 3-month supply, I pay $30 for 45 pills.
But if I told my doctor I was taking three pills a day, and he prescribed me a 1-month supply, I still pay $10, but this time, I get 90 pills. This may just be my healthcare coverage (with Kaiser), but it is not a rarity. If I’m honest about things, and say I need 90 pills of my medicine when I’m actually only taking half-a-pill a day, it will cost me six times as much as if I say I’m taking three pills a day.
Now, this is for the generic medicine. If I’m taking a premium medicine, like Lunesta, I pay $40 for a month of pills. And again, you pay per month, not per pill. I’m not a fan of gaming the system like this, but when the system is set up to be unfair in principle, all bets are off.
And so I hope you find this information to be useful, and — depending on how your insurance works — will remember to ask your doctor to write you the maximum prescription for the allowable monthly dose. And check with your doctor/pharmacy for specials involving ongoing medication; oftentimes deals are available where you can get three-months-for-the-price-of-two through the mail.
You know, while you rock out to the Beetis.